This is a guest post by Adrienne Rolon.
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. Yah I said it. It’s definitely not my favorite thing in the world. There’s no doubt that there are incredible benefits for us business owners to maintain social media accounts. In this digital age, social media and our online presence are HUGE ways to market ourselves, and help our ideal clients find us. SEO is such a powerful tool, and when used correctly, the right people can learn all about you and what you do with the click of a button. And the awesome thing about current social media algorithms is that between hashtags, tagging people or places, link sharing, and so much more, it becomes that much easier for each of us to share our passions and get our services out there for everyone to see. But despite the great benefits of social media, there still lies an ugly problem—comparison. I remember starting my business as a brand new wedding planner just building my portfolio, and scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter every day. I remember feeling like I was on a million-mile race—struggling to keep up with the next person, obsessing over how many likes I received and followers I got, and sobbing over perfect square-shaped images that I felt I could never live up to. I looked at those gorgeous photos, happy and cheerful descriptions, and bountiful comments, likes, reactions, and followers of the other girl and I felt less than. I felt I was the only one struggling to live the life and business I wanted to lead. I felt I was alone. The sad reality is that so much of the social media culture promotes this type of thinking on the other side of the screen. That “Comparison Monster” can be a real pain in the butt, am I right? But it doesn’t have to be this way. It wasn’t until years passed in my business that I finally realized what the problem truly was. The problem is not social media itself, but it’s how we choose to react in response to the online community. My hope, today, is to encourage you and give you some tips and insight as to how to keep that “Comparison Monster” from taking over your life, and how to help promote a social media culture that alleviates the need for comparison.
- Take your eyes off the numbers. How many of us have worked so hard, for hours even, on a social media post? You picked what you felt was the perfect picture, wrote the perfect description, left links for people to be directed to your website, credited the right individuals, left the right hastags—the works. And then you pressed the “Share,” “Post,” or “Tweet” buttons, completely beaming with confidence, because you felt you truly did something great! And then the numbers come in…the first few “likes” bring a major smile to your face. But as the hour progresses, that number slows down, and you begin to second guess your choices. To make matters worse, someone else may post something that is very similar to what you just posted and got many more likes than you. I’ve been in this situation so many times, and I know I’m not the only one. The problem here is that we take too much time using the tap of an index finger as affirmation of the good we are doing in our lives and our businesses. But just because you don’t have a “K” behind your number of followers, have “likes” or loves” in the hundreds, or receive awesome comments, doesn’t mean that what we do, say, or post is not, in fact, amazing. Before you post, take some time to affirm yourself, and remember that who you are is ENOUGH. No amount of finger taps could ever change that.
- Take a break, or even start over! I know what you’re thinking…”This lady must be crazy if she thinks I’m going to stop everything I’ve worked so hard for!” I totally get it. There’s this fear that if you don’t post you’ll either fall behind, miss out on something amazing, or lose the followers that you worked so hard to get. That fear can be so paralyzing and anxiety-inducing that we fall prey to the need to post just to post, instead of being intentional and authentic. But let me tell you from experience—that won’t do you any good, or your work any justice! If you feel yourself starting to get frustrated or anxious about your feed or the quality of your posts, take a break. Social media free weekends are an amazing start, but if you need more time, take a week or a month, even. Or if you’re feeling that you need a fresh start, start over! Use that break or fresh start to take time to be inspired by what’s beyond the screen. Then come back refreshed and renewed with content that best reflects your business and your heart.
- Don’t take social media too seriously. Remember when social media used to be fun? Back in the day when we all had MySpace and spent hours choosing the wallpaper and colors for each button, we used social media to…you guessed it…BE SOCIAL! Somehow, when we added business marketing to the mix, our social media use became so serious. And I understand why. Social media is such an incredible tool for business marketing! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel as though booking my ideal client depends heavily on the content and timing of my posts. But as important as it is for your business, don’t forget to have fun with it too! Post behind-the-scenes photos with you in your element and even a silly picture of you and your team while you work. Post about your family life, and how hilarious it can be when your two-year-old has a temper tantrum for the third time in a day (or maybe that’s just me :-D). Make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to admit them openly. Let’s make social media fun again, friends!
- Post from the heart. Here comes that word that I dislike so much…perfection. What disappoints me so much about social media is how perfect so many try to seem through their posts. We spend so much time trying to be something that we’re not in order to feel better about what we are not to whomever or whatever. But behind that post, there may be someone who is struggling, hurting, confused, or feeling alone. And someone who may be reading that perfect post might feel the exact same way. Don’t we owe it to them…to ourselves…to be honest, authentic, and genuine in our posts? The truth of the matter is that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and destined to do GREAT things with the gifts that we were naturally given. Our ideal clients, our families, our friends, our colleagues, a downtrodden follower–they all need us to be us, even when “we” are in the form of a square social media post. It’s okay to write the good, the bad, the ugly. To be real, raw, and vulnerable. Your ability to be real and share your light on social media will liberate others to do the same.
- Instead of comparing yourself, encourage someone else. We spend a lot of time on social media worrying about how we are perceived by others. But if you think about it, social media is not about us. It’s about those who read our posts, those we serve daily, those we love, and those we hope to inspire. When you’re spending time scrolling through your feed and comparing yourself to the next person, refresh your feed and write some comments encouraging others who are doing great things in their lives and their businesses! My personal rule is for every negative social media-induced thought I have, I have to write three encouraging comments on someone else’s post! By doing this, I’m helping to keep social media social, encouraging community amongst my peers, and helping to defeat that terrible “comparison monster,” one post at a time.t
Social media doesn’t have to be such a serious, ugly, stress-inducing monster. It can be fun, promote community, be a vehicle to stopping the need for comparison, all while being a great tool to document our lives and market for our businesses. But the culture and attitude we create on social media all starts with us. We have the ability to change, inspire, or even save lives by what we post on social media. Let’s stomp that “Comparison Monster” into the ground by changing our mindset, our posts, and encouraging others in the process!
I’m Adrienne, the owner, wedding planner, designer, florist, and marriage encourager of Heart’s Content Events & Design! I absolutely love what I do, and take pride in creating meaningful events that celebrate the covenant of marriage, and encourage my couples to be intentional about spending time with the people that matter most to them! I am married to my best friend, Josh, who is my rock, and my biggest cheerleader. We’ve been blessed with a joyful two-year-old baby boy named James, a sweet three-month old baby girl named Nora, and a rambunctious but kind 5-year-old French Bulldog named Nina! When I’m not loving and serving my couples, you can find me serving as a Cheerleader in the Heart Centered Biz Bosses Facebook Group, listening to and singing all types of music, spending time with my family and friends, and sipping a delicious cup of Hot Chocolate—my favorite!! I believe in wearing my heart on my sleeve, doing everything out of a place of love, and that a smile is a ministry that can bring joy to those who need it most. Most of all, I’m a child of the King, saved by grace, and bound by love.